It has been famously said that “in the future, everything that can be digital will be." That future is now. Are you ready to evolve and thrive in this new digital world?
Why do organizations need to evolve?
Failure drives evolution. Failure in the ability to reliably retain market share, failure to capitalize on new products and services, and failure to identify new competitors can all cause enterprises to go extinct.
History is littered with the remnants of once-great companies who refused or did not want or see a need to evolve.
“Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.”
- Carl Sagan
Even Henry Ford, the pioneer of the modern assembly line, refused to evolve. Ford quickly went from selling 67% of all vehicles in 1921 to 33% in 1926 to 15% in 1927. By understanding and anticipating customer’s needs, General Motors created capabilities Ford did not offer. GM designed a better understanding of their customers’ needs and created differentiators such as payment plans, delivered new models each year, and started used car buybacks to drive consumer demand away from Ford.
The need to evolve and change is not new. However, the speed at which businesses need to evolve is accelerating.
The speed of change
9 out of 10 Fortune 500 companies from 1955 are no longer in the Fortune 500. The average tenure in the Fortune 500 is 20 years and trending towards 14 years by 2026. Based on those statistics, half of today’s Fortune 500 will be replaced within 10 years.
What is digital evolution at AVIO?
The pace at which technology shifts are occurring and markets are changing continue to accelerate. At AVIO, our core proposals for our clients are designed to maximize their opportunity to evolve.
Digital evolution is about creating an ecosystem of capabilities, both technically and functionally, to enable business functions to innovate at an increasingly accelerating pace. Fundamentally, it is about creating an organizational mindset focused on constant adaptation to support an ever-increasing velocity of organizational change. Nowhere has the speed of change been highlighted more than in IT.
Over the past two decades, the rise of organizations such as Airbnb, Netflix, and Tesla has disrupted their respective industries. Others, such as Amazon and Uber, have disrupted entire economies and fundamentally changed the way people live.
These organizations were able to evolve from their initial business models to become massively disruptive companies - even when they didn’t necessarily create new markets, they were able to understand markets were evolving and could meet their changing demands and expectations.
By being much more digitally proficient than legacy companies, these companies are able to adapt and react to changing needs much faster. The underlying technologies and methodologies leveraged by companies started in the digital era enable many of them to stay ahead of their legacy competitors, who are oftentimes mired in systems and processes that are so embedded into the culture that they are exceptionally difficult to change.
As a result, many organizations have announced “Digital Transformation” initiatives in order to become more innovative. While the term “Digital Transformation” is often applied to organizations undergoing significant change, AVIO believes organizations that adopt an evolutionary mindset will be more likely to maintain sustained growth.
Transformation implies a specific end goal in mind, while evolution implies continuous change.
While many types of organizational changes need to happen when becoming more digitally proficient, a majority of the changes do not have a defined finish line. For example, improving the customer experience by decreasing the friction when a customer engages with you is not a one-time change: it requires a dedication to continuously monitoring changing customer expectations and sentiment. In order to meet or, ideally, stay ahead of those expectations, organizations must constantly evolve to meet their customer’s changing needs.
Process, Software, and System
As more and more business is conducted electronically, some of the most critical components to an organization’s success are the processes, software, and systems they use. Organizations with an evolution mindset will have fluidity in all three components.
Over a relatively short period of time, systems have changed from mainframes to client-server to cloud-based technology. Processes have gone from highly structured and bureaucratic to more decentralized and agile versions. And the software used to manage organizations has gone from thick client to web-based in order to take advantage of mobile technology.
The agile methodology has become widely adopted in software development, but it still remains relatively relegated to IT. The concepts of being iterative and enabling evolution have proven difficult to adopt at the organization level, as historical processes such as budgeting and planning remain tied to their traditional top-down, waterfall approach.
Companies that adopt an evolutionary mindset are required to fundamentally rethink how their businesses are structured organizationally. Budgeting, reporting structures, and project teams will all be required to evolve from traditional structures to ones with a focus on agile and fluid delivery.
At AVIO, we focus on enabling our clients to adopt an evolutionary mindset through the use of modern application development practices and leading-edge technology. By adopting modern application development and software engineering practices, such as agile delivery, automated testing, automated builds, etc., our clients are able to more effectively respond to changes in how their organizations want to go to market.
We leverage an agile-based methodology, called AVIO Evolution, to help organizations properly utilize agile practices. AVIO Evolution is not a prescriptive methodology - it adapts to our clients’ needs and goals, and is flexible as needed. Rather than being bound to a stiff methodology and defined set of policies, we have built our methodology to be fundamentally based on Agile principles but adaptable to our clients’ culture.
We also utilize collaboration tooling, such as Slack, Google Meet, and the Atlassian suite of products, to ensure geographically distributed teams work well and in concert with each other. AVIO’s teams in Argentina, Mexico, and the United States all leverage the same toolsets to ensure our clients are able to see progress and status in real-time.
We encourage our clients to use automation throughout the software development lifecycle wherever possible:
Through the adoption of automated testing, automated builds, and automated deployments, we are able to help our clients deliver high-quality code at a faster pace.
With our expertise in infrastructure automation, we help our clients evolve to leverage on-demand, cloud-based infrastructure while maintaining robust governance and security.
Through automated infrastructure provisioning, our clients are able to consistently deploy environments without human errors or bottlenecks. Being able to automate the build and tear down of infrastructure saves our clients significant amounts of time and money.
In addition, enabling developers to automate the provisioning of environments for development and testing purposes accelerates the development lifecycle as they no longer are reliant on other teams to provide infrastructure.
One of the biggest challenges enterprises face today surrounds the number of independent systems they have in order to operate the business. Disparate systems historically have had fragile and inefficient integrations in an attempt for data consistency and to provide access to third parties.
Furthermore, as more organizations recognize the value of their data, opportunities can arise to monetize data through API access. Modern integration platforms, such as MuleSoft, provide tremendous value to both internal and external constituents to address both needs. As organizations evolve their focus from traditional revenue streams to embracing new digital capabilities, providing well defined and documented APIs are a prerequisite for operating in the digital economy.
In order to accelerate the speed of business, internal development teams have evolved into creating and reusing APIs, to deliver development projects in a much shorter timeline.
With a long legacy in business process management systems, AVIO also helps organizations accelerate their project delivery timelines through the use of low code platforms. By exposing, securing, and governing access to data via APIs, core IT can enable business IT teams to create fit for purpose applications through low code development platforms. Business IT teams can easily and quickly search and identify available APIs within the organization, request access, and leverage the data to achieve their immediate business objectives.
Our clients are able to evolve their IT and achieve exceptional results through the adoption of these modern capabilities. The ease of use of low code development platforms, secure access to data via APIs, and the ability to scale provided by automated infrastructure provisioning contribute to our client’s exceptional success.
Survival is not guaranteed to anything that doesn’t change and adapt. Therefore, at AVIO, we think big, start small, and act fast; evolving with our clients by providing world-class solutions to complex problems. Our objective for each client is to create a tidal wave of success through the adoption of small incremental changes. These small changes enable the evolution of culture, capabilities, and delivery such that over time, our clients are stronger and more adaptable than ever before.